* Lead director Cox named CEO on interim basis
* Search already on for permanent replacement
* Darbee leaves after a challenging year for PG&E
NEW YORK, April 21 PG&E Corp (PCG.N) said on
Thursday Chief Executive Peter Darbee will retire from the
company at the end of the month and will be succeeded on an
interim basis by the California utility's lead director, Lee
The change comes after a PG&E natural gas line exploded in
a San Francisco suburb last September, killing eight people and
destroying 37 homes.
Earlier this month, the company's Pacific Gas and Electric
utility also asked for a delay in processing of an application
to extend the life of its two-unit Diablo Canyon nuclear plant
on the quake-prone California coast to allow completion of a
"Peter concluded that a change in leadership would create
the best opportunity for PG&E to move ahead after a challenging
year," Cox said in a statement.
Darbee joined PG&E in 1999 as chief financial officer and
was appointed CEO in 2005. He assumed the additional role of
chairman of the board in 2006.
The San Francisco-based utility said Cox will serve as
chairman, CEO and president on an interim basis. A search for
Darbee's replacement is under way and an announcement is
(Reporting by Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Steve Orlosky)